MG has shuffled the deck on its HS mid-size SUV lineup, adding a sub-$30,000 Core at the bottom end.
It’s stacked, too, with a dual-clutch transmission, MG’s Pilot active safety suite, 17-inch alloys and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto all fitted as standard, along with a seven-year warranty.
The $29,990 Core slots in at the bottom of the five-seat, five-door HS line, bringing the total number of variants to five.
It’s pushed the previous entry-level Vibe up by $1000 to $31,990, with the Excite ($34,990), Essence ($38,990) and the limited edition Essence Anfield ($40,690) sitting over it. All prices are drive-away.
White is the standard paint colour, and metallics are a $700 uptick.
The Core loses a few bits and pieces; front fog lamps and roof rails have been deleted, for example, while it also gets a four-speaker stereo instead of six, it loses its leather-wrapped steering wheel in exchange for a polyurethane version and its powered side mirrors lose their heating function.
It also drops back to fabric seat covers, something that that company says comes from customer feedback.
“The MG HS Core provides an even more affordable mid-sized SUV option for Australian families, at $29,990, while still offering our driver safety technology, MG Pilot, for added peace of mind,” said CEO Peter Ciao in a statement.
“We wanted to make sure that the HS Core still met the high standards that people expect of our flagship model line-up. We’re extremely proud to be able to offer such a comprehensive, safe vehicle that aligns with our company mission of offering value, both in the form of features and pricing, to every single MG owner.”
The Core retains keyless entry and start, automatic headlights, USB points in both front and rear, halogen headlights and LED taillights, a 10.1-inch colour touchscreen and rear vents.
MG’s Pilot system includes city-speed autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, blind-spot detection, rear-cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane-change assist and intelligent speed assist that alerts you if you're breaking the current speed limit.
A 119kW 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is standard across the HS line-up, with the seven-speed DCT sending power to the front end.
MG claims the HS offers a combined fuel economy of 7.3L/100km.
The HS has a decent boot capacity of 463L, but it can’t tow much (750kg braked or unbraked).
The Core should drop into MG dealers early in 2021.